Tackling violence against women in Wales

Steps to Safety 2 report shows vital need for strong new law to tackle violence against women

The Wales Violence Against Women Action Group have published their follow-up report ‘Steps to Safety 2’ aimed at measuring the successes and failures of the Wales-wide response to violence against women.

The report examines the progress of the six year ‘A Right to be Safe’ strategy, launched by the Welsh Government in 2010 with the aim of strengthening services to protect women in Wales. Through the strategy, the Welsh Government has shown a strong commitment to the difficult job of changing attitudes towards violence against women, but the Wales VAW Action Group are concerned that despite some small improvements, progress has been too slow across the public sector.

With the ‘End Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill’ now on the horizon for introduction in mid-2014, there are six months left for the Welsh Government to develop a strong Bill to ensure women and children in Wales are given the best protection possible.

The ‘Steps to Safety 2’ report gives a breakdown of the progress of the strategy displayed as an info-graphic. Points of interest include progress in a number of areas including:

  • Publicity campaigns to raise awareness of violence against women are ongoing, though a greater preventative emphasis is needed. This needs to be reflected in a strong education and prevention focus in the upcoming Bill.
  • The intention to end violence and to tackle all forms of violence such as sexual violence, harassment and trafficking has been outlined by the Welsh Government, though unfortunately it has still not been implemented throughout the strategy;

Despite this progress there are also a number of areas identified by VAW Action Group where no progress has been made. These include:

  • A postcode lottery for services still remains;
  • Still no action on the issue of women with No Recourse to Public Funds being unable to access Violence Against Women services;
  • No evidence that local restructuring has actually improved victims’ safety; and
  • There are still a number of Welsh Government departments that have not been engaged in tackling violence against women.

Download the press release.

Download Steps to Safety 2 (2013)

Download Steps to Safety (2012)